Public sector bosses pocket rises of up to 27% - as staff set to get 2%
SCOTLAND'S best-paid public servants pocketed salary rises of almost five times the rate of inflation last year, it emerged yesterday.
A new survey revealed that the four highest-earning officials north of the Border are now paid more than 150,000 each.
Crisis-hit Scottish Enterprise handed executives Jack Perry and Lena Wilson a total of 400,000 - in Ms Wilson's case a rise of 27 per cent - despite being 34 million in the red.
Ralph Seymour-Jackson, chief executive of the Student Loans Company, netted 172,000. Sir John Elvidge, Scotland's top civil servant, was paid 155,000.
Between them, their wages jumped more than 14 per cent in 2006-7 - while prices increased by 2.8 per cent.
Across the UK, the public sector's top officials and mandarins have seen their pay rise by more than five times the rate of inflation over the past year.
The 300 highest earners employed by the state took home an average of 237,564 - an increase of 12.8 per cent. Seventeen raked in more than 500,000, according to a "rich list" compiled by campaigners with the Taxpayers' Alliance.
Their wages compare favourably to the starting pay of nurses (21,985), police officers (20,000) and soldiers (15,359). The scale of the payouts will be an embarrassment for Gordon Brown at a time when the Prime Minister has been insisting on a 2 per cent cap for rank-and-file public-sector workers.
Mr Brown trails in at 143rd in the roll, with a salary of 188,849. Last year, Tony Blair was ranked 88th, indicating the pace of wage inflation among other bosses.
Adam Crozier, the Scots-born chief executive of the Royal Mail, topped the list with a pay packet of 1,256,000 - up 21 per cent - after axing the second daily delivery and increasing the price of stamps, as postmen went on strike.
Ian Griffiths, the firm's managing director, earned 970,000. Mark Thompson - the BBC director-general who came under fire over faked broadcasts and phone-in competitions affecting even flagship children's programme Blue Peter - came fifth in the list on 788,000.
Eleven of the top 100 earners are with Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator caught on the hop by the faked phone-in allegations. Critics last night claimed the research posed "serious questions". Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "The rate at which the remuneration packages for the wealthiest public servants are growing is staggering. The public would be justified in wondering why these executives are receiving pay rises six times the target for state employees."
Chris Bartter, a spokesman for trade union Unison, added: "At a time when most public-sector staff are being restricted to rises of between 2 and 2.5 per cent, rises of 14 per cent are just indefensible.
"Low-paid public-sector staff deserve the same consideration in their pay rises as Jack Perry."
But a spokesman for Scottish Enterprise said: "It is important to strike a balance between being able to attract and retain high-calibre individuals - many of whom have come from the private sector - and ensuring value for the public purse.
"We also aim to encourage a culture of reward for strong performance at all levels."
SIR JOHN ELVIDGE
Aged 51, he graduated from Oxford before joining the Civil Service at the Scottish Office in 1973.
The married Londoner has spent most of his career in Scotland and was head of the finance and central services department at the then Scottish Executive before being appointed to head the civil service in Scotland. His hobbies include sport and theatre.
Trained as an accountant at Glasgow University before going into the private sector.
The married father of two, 52, was managing partner of accountancy firm Ernst & Young before taking up the chief executive's role at Scottish Enterprise in 2004.
He lists his hobbies as golf, skiing, current affairs and reading.
Aged 44, served as a pilot in the RAF before training as an actuary with the insurance firm Norwich Union.
He was IT director at Abbey Life before being appointed chief executive of the Student Loans Company in 2003.
She has been chief operating officer at Scottish Enterprise since 2000.
The 43-year-old is married with two children and graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University and Strathclyde.
She worked briefly in the private sector at an electronics firm before entering the public sector.
Ms Wilson did a two-year stint as a senior adviser at the World Bank in Washington before joining Scottish Enterprise.
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